In a very Samsung-like style, Apple announced four new models of the iPhone 12 at the same time this year. Only two are currently available, with two more coming this month. I don’t know why I keep tweeting it, but after buying the very expensive Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2, I wrote that I would pass the iPhone 12 range on. Regular readers and followers know that this is simply not possible. That’s why my blue iPhone 12 arrived yesterday.
Jascon Cipriani from ZDNet has rated his Apple iPhone 12 Pro extensively and rated it 9.5 / 10. Jason is more of a regular iPhone user than me. So I highly recommend reading our two settings for these phones. With the same 6.1-inch display and almost the same overall design, you could save $ 120 on a comparable 128GB iPhone 12. The blue colors are different. There is an additional camera on the back. The 12 Pro has 6 GB of RAM instead of 4 GB. and the iPhone 12 Pro is made of stainless steel while the iPhone 12 is made of aluminum.
To justify buying this 128GB iPhone 12, I sold my iPhone SE (2020) on Swappa for about $ 320, which was $ 110 more than Apple wanted me to trade-in. I strongly recommend that you test out the third party market before trading your phone. On the other hand, Samsung usually offers more for its trade-ins than you can sell, so the type of phone you trade will determine its resale value.
Likewise: Apple iPhone SE (2020) Review: An affordable, high-performance business phone for uncertain times
- processor: Apple A14 Bionic Chip, next generation neural engine
- display: 6.1-inch OLED with a resolution of 2532 x 1170 pixels (460 ppi)
- operating system: Apple iOS 14
- camp: Internal options of 64, 128 and 256 GB
- Cameras: Dual rear view cameras with 12 MP 1: 1.6 (wide) and 1: 2.4 (ultra wide). 12MP TrueDepth front camera with f / 2.2 aperture.
- Wireless technology: 5G, 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac / ax WiFi-6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS / GLONASS
- Dust and water resistance: IP68
- battery: 1,821 mAh battery (unofficial) with up to 40 hours of audio playback and 13 hours of video playback. Wireless charging and fast charging with 18W adapter (sold separately).
- Dimensions: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm and 164 grams
- Colours: Black, White, PRODUCT (Red), Green, Blue
It’s only $ 50 more to go from 64GB to 128GB. Given the powerful camera, 5GB for faster downloads, and the ability not to expand your storage capacity later, I recommend that most consider at least the 128GB model versus the base 64GB model.
Apple has again achieved flat edges with the Apple iPhone 12. This is great for those who stand the phone alone or prefer a better edge to hold on to the phone. The matte blue finish around the edges looks great and doesn’t show any fingerprints. I’m a fan of this return to iPhone 4 design as it comes with a completely flat display too.
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The iPhone 11 had an LCD display that looked great, but this year both the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have the same OLED panel with the same resolution that is near perfect. Flat screens make it easier to find and use screen protectors. This year Apple referred to the display as a “ceramic shield” with the announced improved ability to withstand teardrop fractures. It’ll still be scratchy so be careful with it, but maybe we’ll see fewer broken iPhone displays in 2021.
We saw that Apple moved away from the front fingerprint sensor for the most part, the iPhone SE 2020 still has one, while Google has reverted to that approach with the Pixel 5. With face masks, a common wearable accessory, Face ID is not a practical solution for unlocking your iPhone when you are on the go. I love when it can be used and it removes the barrier to securing your phone.
While the edges are matte blue, the back has a glossy finish so fingerprints and smudges can be easily collected. The blue of the iPhone 12 is a dark blue hue with a matte finish around the camera array. The blue of the iPhone 12 Pro has a green tint. It’s likely that most iPhone 12 owners will wrap their new phone in a case like we see from CASETiFY or Totallee, so the shiny back may not mean much to you.
Likewise: iPhone 12 Pro Review: Is It Getting Better?
Like the iPhone 11 last year, the iPhone 12 still has two cameras on the back with no telephoto shooter present. There are some improvements in night mode camera technology for ultrawide and selfie cameras, but the resolution and most of the features are the same.
All of the same iPhone elements are on the sides, with the ringtone switch and volume buttons on the left and the right button about a third of the way down. There is also an elongated area further down on the right-hand side that represents the recess in the aluminum housing for the 5G mmWave antenna. Models outside the US do not have this cutout. The Lightning connector is at the bottom and nothing at the top.
I’ve been very impressed with Apple’s stereo speakers on its phones over the past few years, and find that the iPhone plays the loudest on connected Bluetooth headphones too. The stereo speakers sound good on the iPhone 12 and I can’t even hear content at the maximum volume.
After using the phone for 10 days, I can easily work a full day. One of the major improvements that I was honestly skeptical Apple would add this year is support for 5G networks. Every iPhone in the US supports the bands available from all major vendors, so there is no difference between the radios in the different models.
I tested the iPhone 12 against Android phones running 5G on the same carrier and saw impressive download and upload speeds from the iPhone 12. I’ve also tracked reception strength and while Samsung and OnePlus are still hitting the iPhone 12 it’s only a couple of dBm and in some cases the iPhone 12 is hitting them too. I can finally recommend my wife to try an iPhone again after all the previous ones failed to keep a connection as well as an Android phone.
The iPhone 12 runs iOS 14.1. Typically, you can expect Apple to get regular updates for years. There is no carrier bloatware, additional apps, or other software installed that the user cannot remove.
Apple arcade games are perfect to play on iPhone 12, and get three months free when you buy a new iPhone 12. Apple TV + is also supported, so you can enjoy a lot of content on the beautiful 6.1-inch display.
All of the great features of the latest version of iOS are there. That includes a very Android-looking platform with redesigned widgets, home screen widgets, widget stacks, the home screen app library, phone call pop-ups, pinned calls, improved Apple Maps, improvements to Siri, and much more. If you are an Android user who was dissatisfied with the iOS of the past, you may be very comfortable with an iPhone 12 running iOS 14. I’ve heard some complaints from iPhone users, but overall, people like what they see on iOS 14.
Likewise: The Best iPhone Models to Buy Right Now: The iPhone 12 isn’t your only good choice
Price and availability
The Apple iPhone 12 is now available in five colors. Black, White, PRODUCT (Red), Green and Blue. The 64GB model is $ 829, the 128GB model is $ 879, and the 256GB model is $ 979. Oddly enough, when you choose a carrier model, it costs $ 30 less.
Daily experiences and conclusions
I just like the tech and the ability to have a large 7.6 inch open display on my Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 so I don’t think any other phone can take its place as my daily driver today. That said, if I hadn’t covered mobile technology here on ZDNet and had to be a bit more practical with a phone that can walk with me and be used in Washington state showers, my only phone would probably be an Apple iPhone 12.
It honestly had to find a downside for this iPhone, but it’s still pretty expensive at $ 879 for the 128GB model. It’s great in just about every area, however, and while the Pixel phones still set the bar for stills, the iPhone 12 does very well and is excellent at video too.
As Jason said in his review of the iPhone 12 Pro, I have a hard time finding the volume buttons on the left by just feeling. The flat, elongated buttons hardly protrude from the side and thanks to the use of different covers I can activate them more precisely.
One of the most important improvements for me is cellular reception and the addition of 5G. I live and work in areas with excellent 5G coverage, and when I ride my local train on the outskirts, I see much better wireless reception with the iPhone 12 than with any previous iPhone. I see solid speed improvements in 5G over LTE, but for me the key is wider coverage and I’ve never complained about LTE performance when I’ve had a solid signal. Calls sound great on the iPhone 12 too. According to the iFixit breakdown, the presence of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chip is probably why the reception is great.
For another $ 120, I’m honestly considering returning this iPhone 12 to buy the 12 Pro instead, as I want to test out the extra camera and I like the weight of stainless steel. I can give this to my wife and eventually get the whole family on one iPhone, which is great for many reasons.